William Byron has ascended the professional ranks of auto racing more rapidly than anyone in recent memory. Going into his third season in the NASCAR Cup Series and second with seven-time champion crew chief Chad Knaus, Byron is poised to add to his already impressive racing résumé when he climbs back behind the wheel of the iconic No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE race car for Hendrick Motorsports in 2020.
A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Byron has quickly amassed an impressive list of accomplishments including a NASCAR national series championship. His body of work is especially impressive considering he first drove a race car just seven years ago. In 2018, he collected his fourth consecutive rookie of the year award, and in 2019, he finally competed on the track without a yellow rookie stripe adorning his back bumper and went on to make the Cup Series playoffs for the first time in his career.
Hendrick Motorsports signed Byron, then 18, in August 2016 when he was a record-breaking rookie in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. By the end of his season driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, he had racked up an astounding seven victories, 3,248 laps led and three pole positions en route to rookie of the year honors. Although Byron narrowly missed winning the championship due to an engine failure, it was the most successful debut season in series history.
In 2017, Byron moved up to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports, where in addition to winning the series championship, he earned four wins, two pole positions, 12 top-five finishes, 22 top 10s and rookie of the year. His title-winning campaign included victories at Iowa, Phoenix and the historic venues of Daytona and Indianapolis, where he became the youngest winner of a major race in the track’s 108-year history.
As Byron competed for a championship in the Xfinity Series, Hendrick Motorsports announced his next – and biggest – career move in August 2017. Not only would he take the next step to the elite NASCAR Cup Series, but it would be in the iconic No. 24 Chevrolet made famous by four-time Cup Series champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon and his storied Rainbow Warriors team.
Byron began his 2018 rookie season at the same age Gordon was (20) when he made his Cup debut in 1992. Like Gordon, Byron went on to claim the rookie of the year title, becoming only the second driver to win the honor in each of NASCAR’s three national series in back-to-back-to-back seasons.
Heading into 2019 with veteran crew chief Knaus on top of the pit box for Byron’s sophomore season, the duo got off to a quick start by capturing the pole for the season-opening Daytona 500, the driver’s first in the Cup Series. From there the No. 24 team continued to bring speed to the track week-in and week-out, collecting four additional pole awards, leading 233 laps and collecting five top-five finishes and 13 top 10s. Continuing to check off boxes of first-time accomplishments, Byron made his first appearance in the playoffs at NASCAR’s highest level and progressed his way to the Round of 12 before ultimately ending the season just shy of the top 10 in points in 11th.
NASCAR Playoffs Round of 12:
NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year:
NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion:
NASCAR Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year:
NASCAR Truck Series Rookie of the Year:
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion:
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year: